A Family Upside Down

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A Family Upside Down stars Fred Astaire and Helen Hayes as a retired married couple. Always proud of his independence and resilience, Astaire suffers a sudden heart attack. Though he recovers, Hayes is unable to care for Astaire herself, so she and her husband are compelled to move in with son Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and daughter-in-law Pat Crowley. Astaire's heart problems persist, and the family must face the unpleasant alternative of placing him in a nursing home. Though A Family Upside Down threatens to become an uninterrupted wallow in misery, the film takes several unexpected twists and arrives at a reasonably upbeat conclusion. Coproduced by Ross Hunter, A Family Upside Down co-stars Patty Duke Astin as Astaire and Hayes' emotionally overwrought daughter. The made-for-TV film, which won Fred Astaire the last of his many Emmy awards, originally aired April 9, 1978.

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